Thus came an end to Shepherd’s reign of terror over our club. He inherited a wonderful thing from Sir John Hall and promptly ran it, head first, into the ground. That was to end with our new chairman. A young man, famed throughout the great maze of Eldon Square for his cheap sportswear and throughout the business world as being reckless in his deals.
It was all roses for a while as Mike Ashley enjoyed a [many] pint [pints] with the fans in the Strawberry and even snubbed the directors box in favour of the Leazes End. Had Freddy Shepherd had done that, he’d have been hog tied, placed on a spit and spun over an open flame in the centre circle with his, rather ample, meat donated to third world areas of our great Earth such as Sunderland and Liverpool.
Now Mike Ashley is seen in a similar vein to Freddy only his meat would come pre-marinated in lager, wine and champagne. That’s a pretty good deal in my opinion and as a result I’m sure he would make a cracking burger.
Of course, we aren’t here to discuss a history of our clubs chairman past and present which would undoubtedly be an article of biblical proportions, rather we are going to discuss the club in the transfer window.
Since 2006, under the managerial genius of Glenn Roeder, we have had a bit of a shaky time in the transfer market. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve definitely brought in quality in that time but the table here would show you otherwise.
We all know that Newcastle United was in financial trouble as outlined by Mike Ashley in his statement after the Kevin Keegan resignation where he hits on a very important point – and it is something he seems not to have learned:
“One of the reasons that the club was so in debt when I took over was due to transfer dealings caused by managers moving in and out of the club. Every time there was a change in manager millions would be spent on new players and millions would be lost as players were sold.”
It truly is sliding doors at Newcastle and every manager has a different vision yet the last manager to really get a chance to express and implement his vision was Graeme Souness who lasted just over 1 year and 3 months from his appointment to sacking.
From 2006 to 2011 (presumably not including present spending) we have somehow managed to go through 8 managers; many of which lasted just a few months in their appointment. Obviously that is also including interim manager Alan Shearer so in interest of fairness, we’ll say 7. (Caretaker managers are not included.) That’s a stark contrast from Mike Ashley’s “too many managers, too little time” comment.
So where does this leave us in the transfer table from the past 5 years?
20th. On the plus side, Arsenal is 19th and that’s the model we’re following so I think we’re doing pretty well in that department.
Money received from transfers of £112,650,000 with a comparative £63,100,000 in purchased players leaving a mighty gap of £49,550,000 between two, very large, numbers. Presumably that money would have went towards debt and every day administration, including wages and agent fees but on the same note I have a phobia of numbers, especially when it’s the amount of money I have wet dreams about, so it’s not unlikely I’m reading that completely wrong.
It is, however, worth noting that for at least one of those years we were in the second division of English football which would, of course, have an overall effect on the total numbers.
If nothing else, that table gives us an interesting view into the state of the clubs finances and exactly what they’ve been doing in the transfer market. That website also has various interesting tables regarding Premier League clubs and expenditure so have a look around and draw your own conclusions.
We all want success for Newcastle but first we need to build a stable financial heading. Hopefully that’s what we’re seeing at the Cathedral on the Hill.